Watercolourists use a hake (pron. har-kay) to help them when painting
Artists use hake brushes in different ways, but I was impressed with how it was used to re-wet areas that were drying and to dampen areas that are next to paint, while watching a video boxed set course by Paul Taggart, Learning to Enjoy Painting in Watercolour
Paul showed how to use a hake brush in several ways:
- Wetting the page
- Wetting the area you are about to paint
- Removing extra water before it causes problems
- Blending areas together
Of course I had to go straight away to the art supplies store, Express Hobbies to buy myself one.
The hake I got from Bob at Express Hobbies was like the largest one in this picture. It has soft goat hair bristles packed thickly together, which makes it a ‘thirsty’ brush which will hold a lot of water.
How to use a hake successfully
- To stretch the paper before you start to paint
- Thoroughly wet the brush and starting at the top, brush across the paper moving down at the same time.
- To wet or re-wet an area you about to glaze or paint
- Wet the brush thoroughly, then flick it to remove the excess water and gently stroke the surface where you want the wetness
- As you paint, runs may start if you work at an angle
- In the same way, blend an area of sky with a mountain or hill top
While I painted Cudgegong Afternoon, I used a large squirrel hair mop brush but wasn’t able to get it flat enough to do what the hake will do.
Now that I have my own hake brush, I will get more control of the wetness, an issue for me as I paint on the verandah outside the cabin.
I will let you know how I fare with it.